Global News Journal

German ‘cash for clunkers’ out of gas just before vote

September 2, 2009
  Germany‘s “cash-for-clunkers” scheme expired on Wednesday with a last-minute surge in demand a full three weeks before the Sept. 27 election and much faster than anyone thought possible.   The government’s 5-billion euro incentive programme has led to the purchase of 2 million new cars in the last eight months, according to the website of the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control  that has been keeping a live update of how much money was still available. New car registrations are up about 30 percent this year — in the middle of the country’s worst post-war recession.   By any measure the “Abrwackpraemie” (car junking bonus), as the Germans informally referred to the government’s more official “Unweltpraemie” (environment bonus), that offered new car buyers 2,500 euros for scrapping their older vehicles has been a great success story — a textbook example of pump priming that would make have made Franklin D. Roosevelt proud.    

German state elections: Live

August 30, 2009

10 p.m. - So it’s a black eye for Merkel and her conservative party four weeks before the federal election with the likely loss of power in two of three states that went to the polls on Sunday. But will it make a difference for the federal election on Sept. 27? Will Steinmeier’s SPD, now in the driver’s seat to win state offices from the CDU for the first time since 2001, be able to take advantage of the momentum? Will the CDU start to get nervous again after squandering big leads in last month of the 2002 and 2005 federal elections? September could be an exciting month in Germany.

from The Great Debate UK:

Ghosts of Germany’s communist past return for election

August 28, 2009

kirschbaum_e- Erik Kirschbaum is a Reuters correspondent in Berlin. -

Will the party that traces its roots to Communist East Germany's SED party that built the Berlin Wall soon be in power in a west German state?

‘Dinnergate’ perks up German campaign

August 27, 2009

The German election campaign has so far lacked the riveting debates and explosive issues to which voters were treated in previous battles for power, perhaps because Chancellor Angela Merkel and her rival, Vice-Chancellor Frank-Walter Steinmeier, have worked together in the same “grand coalition” government for the past four years and neither party seems especially eager to rock the boat.

Merkel softens up and talks baking, makeup and clothes

August 26, 2009

Between running an election campaign and trying to save European carmaker Opel at the weekend, German Chancellor Angela Merkel was baking a currant cake and writing out a shopping list for her husband.

Obama calls German election but Merkel knows he’s got it wrong

August 6, 2009

Barack Obama might have unrivalled expertise about the U.S. electorate. But the American president showed he’s something of a fish out of water when it comes to the complex world of German politics — where the seeming winners sometimes end up losing and the losers can end up in power with the right alliance.

How far would Obama have made it in Germany?

July 30, 2009

What would have happened to Barack Obama if he had been born in Germany?

I had the chance to pose that question to a charismatic young German political leader who is sometimes likened by his supporters to the American President.

Stolen limo a nightmare for Merkel challenger Steinmeier

July 27, 2009

Having your car worth 93,000 euros ($132,000) stolen while you’re on holiday in Spain is bad enough.

Arrivederci Angela! Merkel stops campaign for summer holiday

July 21, 2009

Just imagine the outcry if Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain had suddenly gone off on their own separate two-week vacations to, say, Mexico, just two months before the November election? Irresponsible! Reckless! Shirkers! Those and as well as other unprintable terms might be among the comments hurled their way.

Merkel man jumps ship

July 13, 2009

The man who has been so eloquently selling Chancellor Angela Merkel and her policies to the German public as a government spokesman for the last 3 years, 9 months and two weeks has been furloughed.